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Citizenship - Malawi an' a' that!

Pupils and staff from Belmont Academy in Ayr are celebrating a successful 2009 when they forged an exciting partnership with a primary school in Malawi, which they visited in the summer.

Its Malawi an' a' that! project was developed early last year to capture the spirit of Homecoming, pursuing Robert Burns's prayer that: "Man to man the world o'er shall brithers be for a' that."

Co-ordinated by biology teacher Nathan Gilmour, the project looked for ways to expand the science curriculum while encouraging pupils to become responsible global citizens through the school's commitment to Curriculum for Excellence.

Mr Gilmour says: "We linked up with the Chisomo Children's Centre at Limbe and Namatapa Full Primary School in Blantyre to see if we could make a difference."

Pupils raised money and developed educational resources that would improve learning at the primary school. They were able to buy nine laptop computers and a team of pupils and staff travelled to Malawi to present them. While there, they helped renovate and redecorate the Chisomo Children's Centre with colourful murals.

Fraser Kerr, Belmont's former head boy, decided to train as a teacher as a result of the experience. "This was one of the best things I have done and it has dramatically altered my values and perceptions of the world," he said.

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